Don your kilt and head out to Tinman Circle at Shawnee Lake on Saturday, August 18 for the inaugural Topeka Classic Strength Festival. The festival is an expansion of the local Highland Games, which is in its fifth year, and will include a 5K, a strongman competition and other strength challenges. The day will be full of feats of endurance and physical spectacle, fun activities and community. Here's the sneak peek of what you have to look forward to at the Topeka Classic Strength Festival!

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Feats of Strength

An ever-growing form of competition, strength games incorporate various weight-lifting sports and other athletic challenges that test competitors' mental and physical endurance. The events are highly competitive as it takes years for many participants to reach the pique of physical fitness. 

Highland Games

Caber toss, anyone? Have you ever wanted to see traditional Scottish Highland games in action? Get ready for the Scottish hammer throw, the weight throw and the aforementioned caber toss, a fierce feat that involves the competitor hoisting a long log upright and launching it as far as he or she is able - and in kilts, no less!

The Topeka Classic Strength Festival is happy to announce that this year's Highland Games is part of the International Highland Games Federation (IHGF) series. Meaning, the athlete with the most points overall in the competition will progress to the 2018 IHGF All-American Championships, which will be held at the Great Plains Renaissance Fair & Highland Games in Wichita, Kansas, September 24-25. From there, the winner of the 2018 IHGF All-American Championships will represent his or her country at the 2018 IHGF World Amateur Highland Games Championships, which will be held in Bressuire, France, and will also compete in the IHGF World Highland Games series planned for 2019.

Do you think you have what it takes to participate in the Highland Games? Sign up today!  All festival competitions are open to the public. Both Men and Women leagues are available. See below for more competition information. 

highland strongman

The festival's events portray an intense exhibition of strength and precision that should not go unseen. In addition to the traditional the Highland Games, there will be a strongman competition, a 5K, a cross-training competition and a disc-golf competition. 


The Strongman tests competitors' mental and physical strength through various weight-lifting challenges, including a log max lift, a yoke/keg medley, Axle Deadlifts for reps and a vehicle pull. Register here.


The Cross-training event is a mix of running and the strongman events, incorporating speed and endurance. Participants will run the 5K and get scored on where they finish in that event. Then they will compete in all the strongman events and be scored on those challenges. The compiled score will mark the winner. Sign up here.


The Kilted 5K (kilts are encouraged, but not mandatory) will kickoff the festival and end right about the time the Highland Games, strongman and cross-training starts. Kids age 12 and under are free with the purchase of any adult registrant. Here's a sweet perk: each 5K participants 21 and older will receive a free beer coupon! Register here.


Let the frisbies fly! All disc-golf enthusiasts are encouraged to compete in the festival's first disc-golf competition. Registration will be available the day of the event. 

highland games kilt shot

High Profile Athletes

This strength festival will feature athletes from across the U.S. This year the festival has attracted numerous names within the strength games community; among the ranking professionals are Spencer Tyler, Dan Tennison, Andy Vincent, Chuck Kasson, Nathan Burchett and Isaac Burchett. 

See the entire list of participating athletes on the festival's Facebook page.

Refreshments and Crowd Activities 

The crowd is in for a special treat! Norsemen Brewing Co. will be on site with two new Scottish Ales they made especially for the event! Spectators will also be able to enjoy food and vendors as they take in action.

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Copy of Norsemen Brewing Logo

Whether you're there to test your mettle or support the sport, you don't want to miss the fantastic physical feats performed at the inaugural Topeka Classic Strength Festival!